I found this recipe on the Old El Paso website and tweaked it because that’s part of the fun of cooking. This is a super easy version of chicken tacos. If you don’t care for hot and spicy food, use regular or even mild taco seasoning and use plain petite diced tomatoes instead of the Rotel.
HOT AND SPICY OVEN-BAKED CHICKEN TACOS
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
• 1 small yellow onion, diced
• 1 package Hot & Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix
• 1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chiles
• 1 14.5 oz. can Rotel tomatoes (your choice of flavor)
• 10 Old El Paso Stand and Stuff Taco Shells
• 8 oz. refried beans
• 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
• 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
• Shredded lettuce
• Diced avocados
• Sour cream
• Chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13 baking dish with non-stick spray. (I used two 7-by-12 baking dishes.)
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken tenders and let cook, occasionally turning until cooked through.
Remove from skillet, let cool slightly and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Add onions and let them cook about 2 to 3 minutes until they begin to brown. Return chicken to skillet and add seasoning mix, green chiles and Rotel tomatoes. Stir to combine, reduce the heat to simmer and let cook about 5 minutes.
While chicken mixture is simmering, place taco shells in the baking dish(es). Spoon a few spoonfuls of beans into each taco shell.
Next, spoon in the chicken mixture, filling up almost to the top of the taco shells. Now the fun part - pile on the cheese, beginning with the pepper jack and finishing with the Mexican blend cheese.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly, and the shells have started to brown. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite taco toppings.
MESQUITE GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN TACOS
The star of these tacos is Smithfield Mesquite Pork Tenderloin. In my opinion, this is one of the best values in your grocery store. With the mesquite flavoring, no other seasoning is needed. The pork tenderloin is simply grilled for about 15 minutes per side. While it rests, you can prepare the pico de gallo.
• 1 pound Smithfield Mesquite Pork Tenderloin
• 10 to 12 flour tortillas
Preheat the grill to 425 degrees. Place the tenderloin directly on the grill grates. I kept the temperature as close to 375 to 400 degrees as possible. After 15 minutes, I turned it over to cook the other side. After 30 minutes, the internal temperature was 160 degrees. I removed it from the grill, placed it on a plate, loosely covered with foil, and let it rest while I heated the tortillas on the grill.
Turn the grill to low and place tortillas directly on the grates. Let the tortillas heat until they begin to puff up and then turn to brown/heat the other side. Place on a serving platter and get ready to dig in!
Thinly slice the pork tenderloin and serve on the warmed tortillas. Top with sour cream, shredded cheese and pico de gallo.
PICO DE GALLO
• 1/2 yellow onion, diced
• 1/2 red onion, diced
• 1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
• 2 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 cup diced grape tomatoes
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Juice of one lime
• 1/3 cup (packed) cilantro, chopped
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com, for more than eight years. She won the Duke’s Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and at firstname.lastname@example.org.